tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN February 22, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST
we begin with a new momentum that some say was tragically stalled after the massacre of elementary stupts. now one week and one day after florida staff and students were killed, a republican president is signaling it is time to change some of the nation's gun laws. he met with school, civic and law enforcement officers to hear their thoughts on how to stop school shooters and before hearing their thoughts on what should change, the president himself laid out his ideas. >> i talked to many senators last night, many congressmen and everybody in this room, i can tell you, curtis, they're into doing background checks that they wouldn't maybe be thinking
about two wooerks ago. we're going to do strong background checks, work on getting the age up to 21 instead of 18. getting rid of the bump stocks and going to be focusing strongly on mental health. here is a case of mental health. part of the problem is that we used to have mental institutions. i said this yesterday, we had a mental institution where you take a sicko like this guy. he was a sick guy. so many signs. and you bring him to a mental health institution. those institutions are largely closed because communities didn't want them, communities didn't want to spend the money for them. so you don't have any intermediate ground. you can't put them in jail because he hasn't done anything yet but you know he's going to do something. >> and president trump says he will stand up to the nra, the national rifle association, for the first time since the school shooting. we are hearing nra leaders speak. it was quite clear after days and days of student survivors calling for gun reform that the
nra has not changed its political call to arms. >> lean in. listen to me now. and never forget these words. to stop a bad guy with a gun it takes a good guy with a gun. >> nra chief wayne lapierre had a lot more to say. we'll dig into that in a moment. first let's check in with pamela brown, standing by at the white house press briefing set to start any moment now. the president made a lot of news a while ago. talk me through those headlines. >> yeah, he did, offering more specifics on some of the ideas that he has, including the idea of arming teachers. he said he would agree with or support arming teachers who were highly adept with firearms and also offered up the suggestion, brooke, to give bonuses to those teachers who, in fact, would go
to firearm training. that is not something we've heard from this president. when he was asked about those teachers who don't like this idea -- we heard that last night at the cnn town hall. one of the teachers stood up and said she was not supportive of that. the president dismissed the idea that teachers should not be supportive, saying it would only make schools safer, calling shooters cowards, that they would not go into schools where 20% of the teachers were armed. he does not like gun-free zones in schools but also that this wouldn't apply to all teachers in his view, only those that are highly adept. what is he going to do to confront the nra on what he is supporting now, raising the age limit for those who can buy ar-15 rifles, other types of similar weapons? here is what he had to say about the conversations he has had with nra officials on that matter. >> i spoke to them. and they're ready to do things. they want to do things.
they're good people. they're patriots. they love this country. but the nra is ready to do things. they want to -- they actually came up with certain of the rules and regulations that we have now. we're going to have to toughen -- i told them, we're going to have to toughen them up because it doesn't make anybody look good and, most importantly, i saw the devastation of these families. we can't allow that to happen. again, we need a hardened school. we want to harden it without having everybody standing there with a rifle. >> so, of course, you know, one of the questions here during this briefing, of course, will be about how is he going to get the nra on board with some of the ideas, possible solutions that he has? as you pointed out, brooke, the nra has not changed its position in the wake of this latest shooting. and so the question is, how will the president lead on this
matter? >> pamela, thank you. we'll stand by for that briefing. meantime, nra responding to last week's massacre in florida, not necessarily with thoughts and prayers but a warning, insisting to the 5 million members that this outcry for gun control is really not about safety but exploitation of tragedy and an ploy to infringe on their rights. wayne lapierre said yes, what happened in florida is horrible. but he and his nra spokeswoman say guns are not to blame. >> the elites don't care not one wit about america's school system and school children. if they truly cared, what they would do is they would protect them. for them, it's not a safety issue. it's a political issue. their goal is to eliminate the second amendment. and our firearms freedoms so they can eradicate all
individual freedoms. >> we will not be gas lighted into thinking that we are responsible for a tragedy that we had nothing to do with. it is not our job to follow up on red flags. it is not our job to make sure that reporting to the background system. >> rebecca bird was there, our cnn political reporter. you listen to those speeches today, these rallying cries. rebecca, it seemed to me there was a lot of blame going around from particularly wayne lapierre in the wake of what happened in parkland. >> absolutely, brooke. and none, of course, for the nra. the blame was placed squarely on the shoulders today in this room on democrats, on the media. they said lapierre and dana lash who you heard there speaking, spokesperson for the nra, they said democrats and the media are trying to exploit this tragedy, ultimately trying to eliminate the second amendment all together and they warned the crowd here of that threat.
take a listen to a little bit more of what lapierre had to say about democrats and the media. >> what they want are more restrictions on the law abiding. think about that. their solution is to make you, all of you right under the carpet. even the unbelievable failure of the fbi. >> the thing that lapierre did not mention as you can hear. for his tweet earlier today where the president supported strengthening background checks, raising the minimum purchasing age for guns to 21 years old and
banning bump stocks. these are all things that the nra would oppose in some fashion. wayne lapierre did not mention the president explicitly in that regard today. instead he sent sort of a suggestion to the president and republicans that this is still a political issue. he received lapierre a standing ovation here today. clearly a lot of support still for the nra among conservative activists at cpac. >> i want to begin with that with my panel, rebecca, thank you very much, in the d.c. area. want to have a bigger conversation, right? waiting for this white house briefing. jamie gangel is here, chris cillizza, editor at large and dana bash, our cnn political correspondent. i think it's important that we score, you know -- or underscore what the president said a bit ago at the white house. he made changes, news about how he wants to strengthen background check, get rid of bump stocks, raise the age to 21 for buying these weapons.
something that the nra opposes. he specifically said that he talked to the nra and they are willing to, quote, do things. do we know what the things he's referring to are? >> no, we don't. just the fact that he said pretty specifically that he talked to the nra and he told them that they need to do things is quite interesting. i would love to see if we could find out -- i don't even know if it's knowable, if wayne lapierre changed his speech at all. it was pretty hot, and clearly focused on the white house and republicans like marco rubio, who are considering proposals that the nra completely opposes. we'll see. the question, though, brooke, that i'm hearing from sources on
capitol hill is the president talking, and this is early. we have to cut everybody here looking for solutions some slack but will it get to the point where we're talking about an actual legislative solution and, more importantly, will the president use his political capital with gun rights voters, with the nra and use that kind of muscle and capital to push republicans in congress, and some democrats, who are from red states who don't want to touch this, to get this through the house and the senate? and, of course, what is the "this"? >> of course. chris, what do you think about what the president said? >> i echo a lot of what dana said. i would add this is a day-to-day presidency. i say that a lot but back to immigration, remember on tuesday donald trump was saying we have to do comprehensive. we're going to do daca, border security. we're going to get all this done, yeah. we can do a clean daca bill to
dianne feinstein, kevin mccarthy jumped in. by thursday, all that was out the window. how much will does he have for any of these fights? i would say what you've seen in the past 24 hours is sort of a laundry list of potential proposals. it's arming teachers who tried to modify that, raising the age in which you can buy a gun, strengthen background checks. i don't think you get all those things. that doesn't mean you don't ask for them. that's part of the process. as dana points out we're in the beginning, not the end of this i think. what does he choose to focus on? does he continue to talk about this? does he continue to care about it? does he continue to push it? just because he's doing it today and he did it yesterday doesn't tell us all that much. >> sure. >> two days ago we were talking
about donald trump and his attacking -- yesterday -- jeff sessions, his attorney general, for not doing enough about hillary clinton. so, that -- he does and says a lot. can he stay on it? does he care enough to stay on it? can he impact it in a meaningful way as it relates to legislation? >> sure. it's a valid point. on the menu of options presented here in these early stages, jamie, one of the issues we heard from, of course, the president and even, actually, the nra today, this whole notion of hardening our schools, right, and this notion of arming teachers. and the president a bit ago at the white house took it a step forward and said give them bonus s to carry a weapon would be more cost effective than hiring armed guards. armed teachers, less expensive. >> i come from a family with a lot of teachers, principals in it. they did not become teachers and principals to be law enforcement people. but apart from that, apart from
what marco rubio said last night -- >> which he disagreed with the president on this. >> he disagreed. the police show up. who is the adult with the zbhun what's going on? i watched last a veteran secret service agent, our town hall. i've been talking to law enforcement officials all week long. >> actually, jamie -- >> there we go. >> good afternoon, everyone. since its founding in the 1940s, white house counsel of economic advisers has written and delivered a report to congress on the annual economic report to the president. the 2018 report, delivered yesterday, covers the president's successes to date and our agenda going forward. to dig into the details, kevin hassett, chairman of the counsel of economic advisers will make a brief statement and answer your questions on the economic report. then i'll be back to take your questions on the did news of the day. with that, i'll give it to
kevin. >> thanks a lot, raj. it's a dark, dreary day. i heard the white house press corps was a little depressed. i said let's do some economics and cheer everybody up. digging around the chairman's office on my book shelf was a copy of the first report from 1947 and harry truman said this. the economic report is an opportunity for national self examination and self criticism. it's a challenge to the president and congress to determine the causes of whatever problems we face in our economic life and find the solutions of those problems. that's what we endeavor to do at the counsel of economic advisers and what we endeavored to do with this report that came out yesterday. we briefed the president on it yesterday at 11:30 in the oval office. i encourage everybody to read it. it's a scintillating read. eight chapters in the report. the first chapter is an economic outlook where we projected our policies will create about a 3% growth rate going forward over the next ten years.
real gdp will be about $2 trillion higher in 20 28 because of the president's policies. deregulation, labor market policies, infrastructure investment, enhancing global trade and innovative policies for america's health. they all basically go into how it will affect our economic growth. 2.2% growth, we can get to 3% growth by adding what the literature says about the economic effects of our policies. we're supposed to also come up with measures of our nation's problems that help set priorities. two attempts at the economic report to do that. chapter on cyber security where we did a lot of original research to find the cyber theft is costing us about $100 billion a year right now. in the u.s. in 2016 and the second thing we did was look at the opioid crisis, finding
that's costing us $5 billion a year. i've got a few minutes for questions but also anyone who wants to can reach out to us and come over to the cea office and ask me questions there. i'll start with you in the back. >> thank you, kevin. two questions for you. one on the dollar and the other on the stock market. stock market volatility over the past month or so. i'm wondering if you think that that volatility has any impact on the real economy beyond just wall street. >> it is something to be expected. it's a regular thing in the stock market and tends to go up a lot when the market has gone up a lot, as it has in response to our policies. i don't think it's anything unusual for something for people to be concerned about. >> follow-up on the dollar? >> secretary mnuchin has talked a lot about the dollar and that's not changed. >> a strong dollar policy. >> sure. >> some comments to suggest that maybe the united states -- >> secretary mnuchin is in charge of communications about
the dollar policy. >> economic policies of this president may lead to greater inflation. >> that's something people are concerned about. there's been inflation data that has caused some pause for markets and concern for markets. most of our policies will create growth for the economy on the supply side and when the supply side growth comes and that's good for inflation, it puts down more pressure on prices. we can get the growth we forecast without a pick up in inflation. when we modeled this, we get forward interest rates that are about what the fed forward guidance is right now. >> you cut taxes, and to -- that's the concern, that will stoke the -- >> if you cut marginal tax rate you get more capital spending, increasing supply. if we were to do something like have a big cash for clunker program like we did eight years ago, that would increase demand and cause inflation. >> question on the stock market
or stock market as an indicator, the president has often pointed to the rising stock market as evidence of the success of his economic policies and strength of the economy. if the stock market goes down, should we conclude the reverse, that the president's economic policies are failing and the economy is not healthy? >> the stock market is a great forward-looking indicator. the value is basically the market's assessment of the president value of future earnings after tax or free cash flow. through the ups and downs, the stock market is a great indicator. there will be up days and big down days in the short term, there's big literature on this. your best guess of what the stock market is going to do tomorrow is flip a coin and that will tell you the answer. in the long-run, economic policy matters. in this regard the stock market is up about 35% since the president was elected. and that's pretty consistent with what you would expect, given all the positive policy changes we've made.
in particular, cutting the corporate tax rate to 21%. that goes from .65 to .79 then that means you should expect markets to go up. equity markets go up and down. that's the nature of the business. >> fair market come about we should conclude there's fundamental problems? >> if there's a fair market that's sustained that would likely happen because there was a lot of bad news about earnings growth and the state of the economy. the stock market is a reasonable indicator of the current state of the economy. it's been going up a lot because of optimism about the president's policies. i'll go to the middle and then come back to the front row. i'm sorry i still don't know everybody's names. >> that's all right. have you done any forecasts about what it would mean for the economy, net positive and negative if the u.s. is to pull out of the north american free trade agreement? >> at the cea we've done a heck of a lot of analysis to help guide the president's thinking on trade. there are a lot of decisions
coming up. our job is to provide objective analysis of the pluses and minuses of each of the moves being considered. that analysis, of course, is confidential that has been shared with the president and can be forayed in analysis of time but i can't get into that. >> would it be good if the u.s. said we're done with nafta? >> i point you to the trade chapter of the economic report to the president. we have an extensive discussion of trade. one thing that surprised me as an economist as i dug into the details is how right the president is about trade in the following sense, that our trade deals really are asymmetric, that we charge pretty much no tariff at all on imports but a lot of our trading partners have high tariffs or nontariff barriers. u.s. auto sales into korea, there's nontariff barriers so that u.s. firms can't sell there. if economists were to sit down
and write a trade deal, it would be let's have free trade. that's all it would take. thousands of pages long and those thousands of pages have often been negotiated by negotiators that have disadvantaged american workers. i think the president is right to criticize those deals. >> what do you object for those marginally attached in the labor force the next 12 to 24 months? the president has identified that. you've identified that as a priority. >> sure. >> spoke on behalf of the tax cuts and tax reform, thought that would be something positive in the realm of the next 12 to 24 months. what do you project? >> sure is. downward pressure has been a key underlying factor driving down long-term growth. with fewer workers you get less output. we have an extensive analysis in
the economic report to the president. half of that is the retirement of the baby boomers and half of that is bad economic policies that have chased people away from the labor market, including higher marginal tax rates, from the affordable care act and increase in use of disability and so on. there's a lot of reasons why our policies, we think, can have a positive effect. probably the biggest effect in our forecast is just that we think wages are going up. with higher wages, more and more people will be attracted back into the labor force. >> you are projecting and you are inviting the american public to look for those numbers to move in a positive direction, noticeably in this coming year? >> relative to the forecast of the obama administration, yes. you can see the details in our economic report. it's a much smaller negative than the obama administration thought. we think that's because our policies will draw people back into the labor force. >> i wanted to ask about wealth inequality and the fact that
that's been growing the past few decades. is that a concern of this administration? is that something you want to try to correct? >> inequality, of course, is a concern for everybody who studies the economy and people in the administration and inequality sky rocketed very much over the last eight years. in large part because of something we were talking about, corporate profits were growing while real wages were dropping. so inequality increased a lot because people who owned equities saw their wealth go up but people who lived on their paychecks saw their wages go down. we think that happens in part because we were chasing all the corporate activity overseas and that our wealth was more or less creating jobs for irishmen not americans. almost 5 million people have
received pay raises this year because of the tax bill and we think that will reduce inequality. do i have time for a couple more questions? >> yeah. >> okay. so i'll go right here, row two. >> how companies are spending their tax savings, 15% going to worker, 17% capital spending and 43% to dividends and buy backs, that is shareholders. your model was a much higher percentage would ultimately wind up in the pocket of the workers. >> sure, it will. >> what are the stock analysts missing? >> we're starting out with trillions of dollars that were parked overseas and that trillions of dollars, those monies are coming home right now. that's a one-time adjustment. firms are taking that money and paying bonuses but increasing dividends and doing share buybacks which sometimes happens when firms find money. with that money coming back
we'll have an adjustment where you see more dividends and share buybacks than wage increases because that's cumulative past earnings. going forward we'll see capital formation and wage growth. that's where we said three to five years we'll get the $4,000 number. share buybacks have gone up a lot based on the trillions of dollars used to be parked overseas but have been brought back home and put to work here. >> you sort of laid the foundation in there for increasing the gas tax, talking about how it hasn't been touched in 25 years while construction prices have risen. how realistic is it that there could be a hike in the gas tax, question one. when you look at the chart of the gdp growth over ten years it's at or below 3%. you look at past tax cuts, reagan, jfk and even what this president has talked about, 4% or 5%, why only at 3%?
>> let's start with the gas tax. we have a chapter about infrastructure and what the mechanism might look like for infrastructure and talk about the challenges for the current administration and you can imagine, for example, the thought experiment. suppose everybody in this room, everybody in all of society had an electric car if we're all driving around in teslas, how will the gas tax pay to use fix the pot holes because no one is paying for gas anymore. the president has basically instructed everybody to think creatively about how to finance that and make sure the thing that's legislated becomes law and all the possible tools are on the table. as for why we didn't go 4% or 5% growth you can go -- i think it's extremely transparent. 2.2% baseline growth forecast out of one of the best, most reliable models in the
literature and then we had a chapter on each of the president's policy objectives that you might expect is. that gets up to 3% average over ten years and that's based on very hard science. we have more than 50 pages of economic references in the back where those numbers come from. if those numbers had led us to 5%, we would have been at 5%. let me close, though, by putting that perspective. the median forecast for economic reports of the president going back to this one is that economic growth will be about 3.2% and so we're a little bit below the median. the economic growth forecast for the obama administration, the first four years, would be about 3.2%. they were right on the median we inherited all the way back from harry truman. at the end of their administration, because we kept having low growth years after low growth years, on average they overestimated growth over those ars eight years by 1.2%. they finally came up with a story as to why we should expect
low growth. cea and this white house don't accept that there's a new normal. we think if you read the economic report, there's a very strong case to be made that we can just go back to normal and stop modifying the word normal when we think about the economy. >> 4% growth or higher at some point down the line, is that gret aggressive? >> the president and i have talked about this. if you think about what a 3% year looks like, it's never, three, three, three, three, three. a 3% year is four, two, four, two. having some quarters where we have growth that's in excess of three are probably pretty high given the ambitious agenda that's partially enacted. with that, raj is tell meeg i have to go. thank you so much for your attention. it's an honor to be here. >> there's no fear you have as a recession at all anywhere in the foreseeable future? >> economists are always attentive to developments and wary of factors that we can't anticipate. the unconditional odds of recession are something that people who study this talk
about. there's so much momentum in this economy that we're heading into q1 with three-quarters growth with an average of 3%. our model suggests that the first quarter should be a little bit above that because there was an inventory drag in the fourth quarter that should offset in q1. we're looking at an economy that's about as solid and as good as we've seen since before the financial crisis. thank you very much. >> thanks, kevin. as you saw the president yesterday hosted a listening day with teachers, students, and it included many perspectives, many different opinions. it focused on solutions, which is exactly what the president is looking for. as the president tweeted yesterday i'll always remember the time i spent today with
courageous students, teachers and families. so much love in the midst of so much pain. we must not let them down. we must keep our children safe. that conversation continued today with local leaders. the president knows the best ideas usually come from the local level and not washington, d.c. that's certainly the case here. next week, the president will welcome governors to the white house and the top issue will be school safety. to quickly follow up on a question from april ryan last week, she asked about the violence against women office, department of justice. the president's proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 does increase funding to the office for violence against women by over $3 million. our goal is to ensure this funding has a maxim packet providing support and assistance to survivors to combat domestic violence, dating and sexual assault. new gallup survey shows the
percentage of americans who are satisfied with the united states standing in the world has increased by 13 percentage points in a similar year under this president. that is a 13-year high. last but certainly not least i would like to offer congratulations to one of your colleagues not here today, margaret brennan, just announced as the new host of "face the nation." i'll start with major. >> thank you, raj. would you summarize for us what the president intends to do with legislation he will propose on guns? he raised a lot of issues yesterday and again today in the second listening session. is he going to send a bill to congress authored by him and this administration outlining what he wants or is he going to leave it to congress to decide what to propose and what to vote for? >> the president is proposing ideas, listening right now. he has been talking about a series of ideas. he has talked about strengthening background checks with an emphasis on mental health. he has also talked about raising the age for some gun sales.
he has talked about ending bump stocks, the sale of bump stocks and state laws that have been on the books and we'll continue to look at. we're in a listening phase. i won't say we are or aren't going to specific something as specific as legislative language. he will come forward later on with something a little more concrete. >> for example on bump stocks, are any of these questions, the best way to approach it, to have congress come up with the law and he sign it? legislations are helpful but laws are better. does he believe congress should rewrite laws in conjunction with and consistent with the priorities you just outlined? >> i think to each of those points, there could be a different approach. in some areas, state laws make more sense. in other areas -- i mean, i think some states have had these red flag laws, for example, that remove firearms after you go to a judge for potentially dangerous individuals.
that's something that's being done right now in a variety of states. right? they have due process rights for these individuals. it seems to be working in certain areas. that's something we're looking at and other places are looking at. >> looking at that federally? >> right now that's not under consideration. that doesn't mean it can't be. i think we want to say that on the issue of bump stocks that you outlined, he has already ordered the department of justice to look at -- i think right now he has ordered the department of justice to take action. we'll see the rule that will be proposed on bump stocks. we need to look at first what policy we want to come forward with and then what is the right legislative approach at a federal and state level. jonathan? >> raj, the president has talked about arming teachers or people capable of handling firearms. there are 3.5 million teachers roughly in the united states. he said it would be about 20%. that's 700 teachers. how would the president propose
arming 700,000 teachers? >> the president talked about taking individuals, personnel within school. some could be teachers and other individuals who have training already on how to use firearms or could gain training and making sure that they have action toes concealed weapons that they could have on school grounds. in those instances, the presence of individuals would deter potential attackers. >> his numbers, we're talking 700,000 teachers or other school personnel, maybe even more, armed in schools. how is that practical -- how is that wise to have 700,000 more firearms in schools? >> when you have a horrific situation like you had last week and other school shootings we've seen these horrible tragedies, what we think and don't think is practical can change. john? >> in order for something like that to be effective, you would have to get buy-in from many, many school boards across this country. >> of course. >> so far much of the reaction
we've seen to this idea has been negative. does the president expect that he can get enough buy-in in order to send a signal to potential shooters out there that this is a hardened facility. you walk in the doors, he said a little while ago, you're not going to last? >> we certainly think so. look, there are a lot of individuals, leaders in congress, the nra has been supportive of this idea. a lot of other folks have been supportive of this idea. the notion that, you know, trained individuals who work within schools that have firearms and can serve as a deterrent could keep a lot of schools in a community safe. ali? >> to follow up on this conversation, there are some districts that don't have enough money to give teachers the school supplies that they need. how are schools supposed to pay for bonuses for armed teachers, as the president has suggested? >> we're looking at school safety measures. there's a policy piece to this and a legislative piece to this. and there is a budgetary piece to this. i think if we find the policy solutions that make the most
sense we can get by and for, we'll figure out the rest of these other pieces that you outline. >> on the proposal he talked about yesterday and today, raising the age limit. as he said today any weapon you have to be 21 to do it. the nra has come out, as recently as last night, oppose that. the president said he doesn't expect to have to go up against the nra. clear lly situation where the president holds one position and the nra holds another position. what assurances has he received from them since he said he doesn't expect a battle? >> the president did talk to chris cox over the weekend. in dealing with school safety issues, we don't expect to agree with the nra on every single issue. we do think they are concerned about school safety as the president tweet this had morning, we think they're interested in doing what's right. it's part of an ongoing conversation, they're stake holders along with family members, students, parents, teachers, who the president heard from yesterday, local officials, who he talked to
today. he will get opinions from a lot of folks and come to the right steps that are necessary. >> change his mind on that? >> i'm not saying he can change his mind. the point here is that he will take input from a lot of folks and come forward with proposals that we think will improve school safety. >> one solution that the students and family members have called for is a ban on semi automatic rifles. is that something that is on the table that the president is considering? >> sarah said the other day that no idea, no potential solution is off the table. that said when you look at what happened in florida, you have an individual who, dozens of times police either went to his home or were called. there was a call to the fbi. this is a troubled individual. a lot of alarms were raised about this individual. we don't think that the immediate policy response would be to ban an entire class of firearms. what we're looking for are solutions that don't ban a class of firearms for all individuals
but ban all weapons for certain individuals who are identified as threats to public safety. >> the president has said before, he wrote in his book in 2000 that he was for the assaults weapons ban. is there something that's changed his thinking in that time? >> yeah. he campaigned for president and was opposed to the assault weapons ban. his position hasn't changed on that. >> i want to ask you about the rule finalized by the obama administration that president trump reversed last february, which would have allowed this social security administration to provide information on people with mental disabilities. we've asked the white house on 15 different occasions for a bill signing which you normally release along with a picture. is there a reason you're not releasing this if the president, as he suggests today, is proud to work so closely with the nra? and if not, why not?
>> i don't know. you haven't asked me about it. if you have, i apologize. i don't know if there is a photo and if i haven't gotten back to you i will get back to you. under the previous administration that blocked gun purchases was opposed by folks on both sides of the aisle, including the aclu. we need actual solutions that will secure our schools and prevent future shootings. we don't think taking away second amendment rights from people who essentially have trouble with their checkbooks is the right solution. >> i want to follow up. you've been saying the president has been doing a lot of listening. did he watch the cnn town hall last night and why didn't he attend and listen in person himself? >> i didn't ask him about that? julie? >> hi. how many white house officials are in danger of losing their security clearances under general kelly's plan tomorrow? >> i can't get into specifics of security clearances or numbers. i don't know what you're asking me. the memo outlined a series of
reforms that in the wake of the situation involving rob porter we can do more to ensure that the security clearances are tightened up. these are things that the chief of staff have taken action on months ago but these are steps that will apply to all white house officials. >> you can't give us numbers, though, when it goes into effect tomorrow? >> no. >> why not? why can't the public evaluate how meaningful this change has been? >> the memo outlines in pretty specific detail how the security clearance process is going to work moving forward and how it's implemented on friday. beyond that i can't go further. >> how can you assure the american people that these ideas will turn into concrete action? >> i think the president already has -- you saw him for nearly an hour yesterday listen to individuals and take in quite a bit of input from, you know,
people who are frustrated, who are struggling, who are angry. it's very raw, it's very real. it is impacting. background checks for one, mental illness and specific measures we can look at to improve the background check process by looking at mental illness is another. again, the age 21 piece of this. it is impacting his thinking. >> are you sure that action will be taken? >> as i told major, right now we're in a listening phase. i imagine there will be a legislative process. >> the nra is standing firm that it does not support age limits for semi automatic rifles, is
the president willing to stick with his? >> he's willing to do what's right to ensure we have safe schools. >> yeah? >> when the president talks about comprehensive background checks can you tell me exactly what he means by that? does he mean he thinks every sale of firearms should come with a background check, meaning closing some of these loop holes like the gun show loop hole? >> things he has talked about are specifically focused on mental illness, to ensure that in a number of states -- i mentioned red flag laws, other potential court orders that can be brought into the process and also ensuring that everybody who engages in a background check has all the information available that we're putting into the system. more accurate information, more current information from more sources. >> but it wouldn't be for all sales? >> i wouldn't rule anything out. right now that's the most immediate thing under consideration. julie? >> on the age limit or age threshold for purchase of a weapon, is he thinking about an
across-the-board threshold for that, or certain classes of weapons? how specific can you be? >> for semi automatic weapons. >> just for semi automatic weapons? >> correct. >> can you talk about what motivated him today to come out against active shooter drills around the schools? a lot of districts have been doing these drills to basically prepare students and teachers to survive if there's an incident? >> i did talk to him about that. he said the term active shooter drills is particularly -- can be frightening for young children. he thinks a drill that has a different name and is not the brand of it, frankly, doesn't frighten children might be a better way to approach it. >> do the drills just don't call them active shooter drills? >> yeah. i think safety drills, which help in these types of situations, would be more appropriate. active shooter drill for a young child could be very frightening.
ali? >> about six months now, how does the president think it has moved along and has it progressed on the lines that he wants it to? >> the united states is working closely with our partners in afghanistan. we made significant progress against isis in reducing their presence and eliminating hundreds of fighters. we've eliminated top leaders and are working relentlessly. we have restored some clarity in our relationship with pakistan for the first time. we're holding pakistan accountable for its actions. we've seen modest progress in terms of pakistan's actual acknowledgement of these concerns. the president is not satisfied with progress when it comes to pakistan. john is this. >> thanks a lot, raj. are there any proposals for initiatives that the president is considering that he could implement by executive order as it relates to the mass shootings
that we've seen across our country in the last few years? >> he did sign a presidential memorandum earlier this week, specifically on bump stocks, ordering the attorney general to expedite the ongoing review that's been happening at the bureau of alcohol and tobacco firearms. >> that's it? >> yeah. >> as it relates to reaching out to members of congress, has the president, since the horrific incident that happened last week, reached out to either the leaders, republican or democrat, of the house and senate to move some of these proposals forward in the house or the senate? >> he has ongoing conversations with a number of members of congress on a whole host of issues. this has been part of that. he did talk to senator cornyn on friday, specifically about his fix mix bill. there is a policy process that is ongoing. when congress gets back into session i think there will be more engagement with both democrats and republicans on
this issue. >> during that session the president seemed to suggest he was thinking about pulling i.c.e. out of california because of the sanctuary city. >> we think that california should enforce immigration law rather than get in the way of it. sanctuary cities encourage more illegal immigration. the president was raising that concern. >> pulling federal law enforcement out? >> i wouldn't get ahead of anything the president might do. california's law enforcement decisions and decisions of the governor up and down at the state level have been very troubling. >> i have a question about the president's reassurances that he's going to give republican lawmakers, nra president said people that try to change gun control hate the nra, the second amendment and hate individual freedom. if there are republican lawmakers who then come and back the president, if they have a
different -- have a durchss with the nra what assurances will they give them that he will support them if the nra chooses to run a challenger against them? >> the president will poe oppose more specifics with regard to school safety and wants support from democrats and republicans. he will provide political cover for those willing to take leadership roles. i don't think that everything he will be proposing will be at odds with the nra or any group. he is very serious about this issue and does want to have solutions. jessica? >> thank you, raj. several of my colleagues questions about the issue of arming teachers in schools i understand what you're saying about how this is something that we can get into more of the specifics later but the president is saying that not just 20%, up to 40% of teachers could have these concealed carry permits in schools. and as john was noting, at that point that would be more than 700,000, that would be 1 million
plus at this point. and president trump said that they would only be going to highly adept teachers but used john kelly or someone like john kelly as an example today when he talked about it. does the president really believe that there are up to 20% or 40% of teachers in schools horace adept as someone like john kelly at wielding a weapon? >> we've talk talked to teachers and folks in communities. there are a lot of people who would be willing to get trained. >> having trained individuals in schools with concealed weapons because that will certainly deter potential attackers. >> one question on the background checks, the president used the word comprehensive background checks. >> uh-huh. >> what does he specifically mean when he says the word comprehensive? does that mean universal? and would he be willing to
support universal background checks and just to clear up what i mean about that, background checks on all firearm sales. >> right. and as i said, nothing is being ruled out at this stage. the focus is on mental illness. trey? >> raj, thank you. one important poli-- one on for policy and one on domestic policy. >> sure. >> more civilians are dying in damascus. what more can president trump do to stop the killing? >> we are monitoring the situation. and i don't want to get ahead of anything that may or may not be announce d on that front but th assad regime and russia's actions on this front are on notice. >> does the president believe that bashir al assad is committing war crimes? >> i would say that bashir al assad has already committed war crimes and gassed people with sarin, he has already committed unthinkable acts and has done so with russian support. we don't want that to continue. >> on guns quickly, sorry,
raj -- >> yeah. >> on school shootings generally speaking does the president see this as a guns issue or a people issue? >> i think it's about safety. it's about people and it is about ensuring that schools, our children are kept safe. he talked about that a bit yesterday and a bit also as well today. you know, you have a situation right now where, in a lot of communities, banks, local bank branches, stadiums where people go to watch a sporting event are a lot more secure and a lot safer than schools are. and that doesn't really seem to make a lot of sense. anybody who is feeling threatened or can afford it, whether it's a celebrity or politicians, they have armed guards, they have security details. they have people who are able to protect them with firearms. that's one of the issues that he's raising. >> raj, thank you. when you look at past school shootings that most americans can recite at this point, columbine, the shooters in that
case used handguns and sawed-off shotgun. sandy hook, the shooter used a handgun and type of ar-15. stoneman douglas the other day ar-15. when the president is talking about teachers being armed with guns in classrooms, is he talking about being armed with handguns? is he talking about being armed with ar-15s? is he talking about being armed potentially with shotguns? what exactly is he talking about? >> i haven't asked him about that. i would say concealed weapons are of a certain variety. >> just to pick back up on ha hallie and john, that 700,000 number. if you give these people bonuses, $1,000. you're talking about $700 million, maybe north of a billion, less than that. in any event it's a lot of money. would the federal government pay for something like this? do you expect the state and local municipalities?
>> the policy hasn't been flushed out but is that too much to pay for school safety? >> the president spoke with the nra's chris cox over the weekend. did he specifically discuss this idea of raising the legal age of purchasing a rifle to 2 or was this subject not discussed? >> i'll have to get back to you on that. >> john. >> if i could, a second question. i only got one. everybody else got two. adam schiff said he would like to get his democratic memo out this week. if it comes back to the white house with appropriate redaxs would you expedite its release? >> the house intelligence committee, minority has been in touch with the fbi and have been going back and forth about that. yeah, once it meets the fbi's standards for ensuring that law enforcement sensitive and sources of methods are protected, we would support its release. >> just another subject. last week the president's
personal lawyer acknowledge ed giving a $130,000 payment to stormy daniels. is the president aware that his lawyer paid that kind of money to a porn star to buy her silence? does he have proof of that? >> i haven't asked him about it. that matter has been asked and answered in the past. >> not since he acknowledged this. he acknowledged this last week. this is the first time we've had a chance to ask about it. can you go back and find out if the president approves of the fact that his personal -- >> i haven't asked him about that. >> will you ask him about that? >> i haven't asked him about that. >> can you ask him about it? >> i'll get back to you. >> police in israel said last week they have sufficient evidence to charge prime minister netanyahu with bribery charges. does the president believe that the prime minister is innocent? does he have any concern that this legal issue can affect this process? >> that's an internal israeli issue and i won't comment on it. >> there he went. raj shah there, briefing the press. on guns, which dominated the
briefing, raj shah saying we don't think the most immediate policy response would be to ban an entire class of firearms. what is specific in where the president differs with the nra is on this age to purchase weapons. the president has said he is in favor of raising the age which, by the way, since the president said that again today at the white house, the nra has released a statement rejecting ideas to limit the ages for purchasing rifles, if you are just following along with what the right hand and the left hand are saying. chris and dana are with me. dana, to you first. thoughts? >> first of all the fact that he said very explicitly that the president does plan to give republicans political cover from the nra if and when it comes down to that. he also said he didn't think it would be necessary because some of the things that the president is talking about don't necessarily fly in the face of what the nra wants. even something, frankly acres
lot of people who are for what they call common sense gun control think is a baby step, raising the age limit from 18 to 21 for assault-style weapons, we know that's something that the nra doesn't support. so they're leaning in. they continue to lean in. which, this white house, as chris was talking about before the briefing started, where you had a president, tuesday trump and thursday trump on immigration, the tuesday, wednesday trump is still that same trump on this thursday. and that's saying something. we have to kind of deal with the context that we're in right now. and that is what we're in right now, not really being sure, given the history of the way that this president has gone back and forth on a lot of different issues, particularly when they are very, very controversial and they are very controversial with his own base. unclear how he's going to go. at least for now, it seems as
though he's pushing ahead. the big unanswered question that he did not answer and, to be fair, it is very early to answer this question is what is the specific? what are we talking about? what is he going to propose? never mind how much is he going to push to get it over the finish line. >> jamie and i were listening and we were talking through the briefing. we were having this conversation. i want to reiterate it now just on this whole notion of the nixon goes to china opportunity for the president with republicans on guns. >> right. >> is it? >> a lot of people would hope that that's the case. but at best, maybe -- maybe, maybe, maybe. just as dana was saying, the nra is not sitting back quietly. they came out today full force, repeating their position. they are not in favor of these things. and while the president will say i'm considering this -- the rest, he also said todayy think i'll be going up against them,
the nra. they're very close to me. i'm close to them. so, he is saying one thing but will we get to the finish line? will we even get close to the finish line? i think it's very much to be seen. >> the other question, chris cillizza, they kept asking raj about this notion of arming teachers, especially to the level of a general john kelly. that was an excellent question there. how is that even feasible, that the money required in not only training them, giving them bonuses, as the president said, but continuing that training if they want to be armed, concealed carry. >> yep. so, raj's answer was, well, we'll find the money if it's going to keep kids safe. which is an okay answer. but i would say -- and we'll hear much more about this. i think it's a debate certainly whether it would keep kids safer. so that's one thing.
i think my big takeaway, number one -- and i don't think this was going to happen but no push for an assault weapons ban, which was obviously let to expire by george wncht bush. you heard marco rubio get loudly booed last night or cheered for the idea that he rejected an assault weapons ban. that's in the going to happen. the other takeaway, dana touched on. i'm interested to see is there a proposal legislatively -- let's assume something happens. does it come from the white house? does donald trump say i want this, this, and this, like the four pillars of immigration, or is this something where he says work it out with congress? i'll tell you who we haven't heard a lot from. mitch mcconnell and paul ryan, the two leaders on the republican side. there's been no promise to put this at the top of the legislative agenda. they haven't said much of anything in terms of what this means for policy. so, what donald trump chooses to
do and how he chooses to do it makes a massive difference. >> i want to thank all of you very much. we want to continue our conversation and roll the show on. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you so much for being with me. we are one week officially, and one day, after 17 students and staff were killed at that florida high school. you have a republican president, who is signaling it is time to change some of the nation's gun laws. today, president trump met with school and civic and law enforcement leaders to hear their input on how to stop school shooters. and before hearing their thoughts on what should change, the president himself laid out his ideas in this tweet. he talks about strengthening background checks, raising the age for some gun sales, ending the sale of bump stocks and in today's meeting, he spoke about the need for mental health reform. >> part of the problem is we used to have mental institutions. and i said this yesterday.
we had a mental institution where you take a sicko like this guy. he was a sick guy. so many signs. and you bring him to a mental health institution. those institutions are largely closed because communities didn't want them, communities didn't want to spend the money for them. you don't have any intermediary ground. he didn't do anything yet so you couldn't put him in jail but knew that he was going to do something. in some cases reopening mental institutions again. in new york, the governors in new york did a very, very bad thing when they closed our mental institutions, so many of them. you have these people living on the streets. and i can say that in many cases throughout the country, they're very dangerous. they shouldn't be there. we'll be talking about mental institutions and when you have some person like this, you can bring them in to a menta